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Ghost Plant

GHOST PLANT (Monotropa uniflora)

So it took only four animal posts before I decided "hey, I'm going to write about a plant instead". Granted, I picked one of the least plant-like plants to write about, but still, this post is going to be more Botanical Review than Zoo Review. With that said, let's see how well this weird-ass fuckin plant stacks up in the categories I chose specifically for animals and using the arbitrary point system I invented! Whee!

Appearance

One of the things that you might notice first about the ghost plant is it's ghostly appearance. That's right, it's called the ghost plant because instead of being green like a normal plant, it's almost translucent white like a weirdo. That's because it is heterotrophic (I'll explain what that means in more detail later on) and doesn't have any chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green. So they end up looking like creepy tendrils growing out of the ground. That makes ghost pla…
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Killer Whale

KILLER WHALE (Orcinus orca)
This one is going to be a little more biased than usual because the killer whale was my favourite animal up until I was six and some asshole kid at school told me they were "stupid", crushing my self-esteem and love of Free Willy in one fell swoop. After that, my favourite animal for a long time was grey wolves, the killer whales of the land. But, deep down, I still harbour a special place in my heart for these big glorified dolphins.

Appearance

Killer whales are known for their distinctive and cool black and white look. Nobody says it, but in a lot of ways they really rock the goth aesthetic. Orcas from different parts of the world can be differentiated by their colour pattern, and humans can recognize individuals within groups by their unique markings. That's pretty neat!

They're also big fucking animals. For some reason, probably because most people's experience of orcas, no matter how removed, is captive animals, they seem less dang…

Common Ostriches

COMMON OSTRICH (Struthio camelus)

Ostriches are large, flightless, terrestrial birds. The scientific name means "ostrich camel" which is frustrating because ostriches are not camels. But, they do live in the desert and some crazy motherfuckers ride them, so I can see where the comparison is apt.

Appearance

Ostriches are one of those animals that we accept as real only due to familiarity. They look as though the whole point of their evolutionary history was to make all who look upon them say "what the fuck?". Allow me to describe an ostrich to you: they stand at least 2.1 meters tall, and can weigh up to 157 kg (that's 6'11 and 346 lbs, respectively). Unlike normal, god-fearing birds, they cannot fly, which is a mercy because flying ostriches would be even more terrifying. They have long sexy legs that end in three toes equipped with talons that would make Dr. Alan Grant nod approvingly. And finally, they have a crazy sock puppet neck with a tiny head and eye…

Saltwater Crocodiles

SALTWATER CROCODILE (Crocodylus porosus)

Crocodiles are big, scaly animals that live in the warm parts of the world and can eat just about anything. Saltwater crocodiles are like regular crocodiles only bigger, hungrier, and arguably more impressive.

Appearance

Saltwater crocodiles are not only the largest living crocodilians, but also the largest living diapsids by weight (diapsids are a group that also includes lizards, snakes, turtles, and birds). While not as long as the reticulated python or as adorable as the spectacled caiman, they make up for length and cuteness with mass, topping out at around 1200 kg (~2600 lbs for my friends south of the border). For reference, if you've ever seen a cow and thought "damn, that's a big animal", you should know that the biggest bulls are only around 1100 kg, and also that crocodiles eat cows, so fuck you. They also have bony plates on their body called gastralia and point spiky bits on their tails which remind me of the humbl…

Giraffes

GIRAFFE (Giraffa camelopardis)


Giraffes are freaky looking super-goats endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and found in zoos all over the world (IUCN). Despite looking like long-neck dinosaurs, they are in fact mammals - you can tell because they have fuzzy skin, and udders.

Appearance

Giraffes look really cool from a distance but up close they are all kinds of weird. They have creepy long tongues like Gene Simmons, and stubby little antlers called ossicones. Why do they bother having ossicones? It's not like they can butt heads with them, and they're too small and dorky to fend off predators. The answer to that question is probably heat release, since they're chock full of blood vessels (Mitchell & Skinner 2004), but that makes them even less likely to be weaponized.

On the other hand, they have cool spotted coats and, unlike the patterning on leopards and zebras, their spots are not totally played out. It is also fun to say "ossicones", so I'm going to give th…